Searchopensource.com published a good story about how Linux was used to send the NASA Rover to Mars. This was picked up very quickly by people on one of the internal aliases due to the following excerpt:
"Our personal view is that Linux, period, is only for the desktop. We don't run our main servers on Linux, because there are too many flaws in main Linux kernel," he said.
Brack's team instead runs Sun Solaris 8 for its main servers. He cited the OS's more stable, reliable, and longer lifecycle as one of the key reasons for this deployment.
Supporters of Linux on the server may argue that these are similar traits enjoyed by -- if not pioneered by -- Linux. Nevertheless, Brack said there are already plans to upgrade to Solaris 10 in the near future.
"For the last six years we've been at Solaris 8, and we are traditionally a Solaris shop," he said. He added that the OpenSolaris project, which saw Sun open the source code to Solaris 10, did not have any bearing on the decision to upgrade to Solaris 10.
So, Linux may be the all-singing-all-dancing operating system, but who's doing all the work in the background? - Solaris or course :-) . Now, one of the things that really seems to annoy a lot of people, is the comments about how Linux pioneered this and invented that without any form of research or substantiation. This excerpt is no exception...
Supporters of Linux on the server may argue that these are similar traits enjoyed by -- if not pioneered by -- Linux.
One guy was quick to respond...
Sheesh. If any OS pioneered these traits, it was OS/360.
It's incredibly sad that people will actually believe this drivel.
But, the best bit has got to be the response that followed this...
Well, it didn't say "Supporters of Linux may argue with even the least shred of evidence to support their claim" ...
And in fact, one can look up at least the rudiments of Red Hat's product lifecycle, which I believe is about a year old, and compare it to Solaris' Life Cycle model, which we initiated about eight years ago. In the article, Brack said he deployed Solaris 8 six years ago. If we pretend Red Hat's product lifecycle had existed six years ago, any Red Hat release deployed at that time would by now have been superceded by at least four new major releases, with no assurance of compatibility whatsoever between any of them. (Perhaps this is exacerbated by the Linux thought leader being on record as believing binary compatibility is for wimps.) It would have dropped off of mainline support at least 3-1/2 years ago, and would be slated to go completely off support next year or sooner. (By the way, Red Hat has promoted this as the "best lifecycle in the industry" in presentations.)
In contrast, JPL can continue to buy Solaris 8 today if they so choose (we'd of course recommend Solaris 10, which JPL is indeed moving to), and know it will be at Level I support for another 2-1/2 years and will not fall off our support radar until some time in 2012. Since they deployed Solaris 8 we have released Solaris 9 and 10, and offer guaranteed compatibility for existing applications, going back to Solaris 2.6. When JPL moves to our current release, they can expect full support for it for the next five years or more, with end of support around 2016.
Following Red Hat's Product Lifecycle we can project that in 2016 they will be dropping support for RHEL 7 -- which won't even be *released* for another three and a half years. Rah, supporters of Linux!
To beat this to death: customers running on RHEL "n" who want to stay at Level I support *must* upgrade to RHEL "n+1" within a year of its release. They can't wait for RHEL "n+2," because RHEL "n" will have already fallen off of Level I support six months before n+2 ships. Great for Red Hat; not so great for their customers.
I'll leave "stable" and "reliable" for others to discuss -- especially when comparing Linux ca. 2000 to Solaris ca. 2000.
I'm not anti-Linux and have actually used it a lot. I work for Sun and thus may have a slight bias toward Solaris, but I think this argument pretty much gives a damn good reason why people should seriously consider Solaris over Linux for their mission critical servers - banks, mobile (cell) phone operators, NASA and credit card companies all over the world do. Linux is great for the desktop (Solaris is way behind here).